May 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Beau Bennett (19) handles the puck as New York Islanders center Marty Reasoner (16) and goalie Kevin Poulin (60) defend during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins option Beau Bennett and make more roster moves


The Pittsburgh Penguins had until 5 p.m. Monday to set their 23-man roster and they did so with a flurry of roster moves.

While the 23-man roster needed to be in today, there’s a better than average chance that these won’t be the same 23 players who suit up against the New Jersey Devils Thursday night.

Sep 23, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) at the face-off circle against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the biggest name to be moved was young winger Beau Bennett, who was optioned to Wheeling of the ECHL.

Before you have a heart attack, I wouldn’t worry. There is very little chance that Bennett suits up for the Nailers as it appears to be simply a procedural move for the sake of the salary cap. It is assumed he will be on the opening night roster.

The other big news came in the form of defenseman Kris Letang, who was placed on IR.

Letang suffered what is believed to be a knee or lower leg injury Friday in practice, and initial indications were that it was not serious or long-term. By being placed on IR, Letang will miss Thursday’s season opener, but he could be eligible to come off of IR before Saturday’s home game against Buffalo if the IR designation is retroactive to Friday.

Also put on IR Monday was goaltender Tomas Vokoun, but that was expected.

The Penguins also sent defenseman Simon Despres and winger Andrew Ebbett to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. Ebbett cleared waivers to do so.

Winger Chris Conner also cleared waivers but remains on the 23-man roster.

Finally, defenseman Derrick Pouliot, a first-round draft pick in 2012, was returned to his junior club, the Portland Winterhawks.

Now let’s look at who is still here.

Right winger Chuck Kobasew remains on a professional tryout contract and is not officially part of the roster.

Jeff Zatkoff right now makes the team as the No. 2 goaltender behind Marc-Andre Fleury.

In a curious move, Harrison Ruopp was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He did not appear in a preseason game and was injured most of camp so this is likely also a procedural move for salary cap reasons.

After a pretty solid preseason, defenseman Olli Maatta looks like he will stick around for a nine-game tryout as a junior eligible player. The 2012 first-round pick will probably stick until Letang is ready to return.

Here’s a look at the complete 23-man roster as it was made official today; but again, things are expected to change by Thursday.

Forwards

# NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT DATE OF BIRTH AGE BIRTH PLACE
27 CRAIG ADAMS 6′ 0″ 200 APR 26, 1977 36 SERIA, BRN
23 CHRIS CONNER 5′ 8″ 190 DEC 23, 1983 29 WESTLAND, MI, USA
87 SIDNEY CROSBY “C” 5′ 11″ 200 AUG 7, 1987 26 COLE HARBOUR, NS, CAN
22 MATT D’AGOSTINI 6′ 0″ 198 OCT 23, 1986 26 SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, CAN
9 PASCAL DUPUIS 6′ 1″ 205 APR 7, 1979 34 LAVAL, QC, CAN
15 TANNER GLASS 6′ 1″ 210 NOV 29, 1983 29 REGINA, SK, CAN
17 DUSTIN JEFFREY 6′ 1″ 205 FEB 27, 1988 25 SARNIA, ON, CAN
36 JUSSI JOKINEN 5′ 11″ 198 APR 1, 1983 30 KALAJOKI, FIN
14 CHRIS KUNITZ “A” 6′ 0″ 195 SEP 26, 1979 34 REGINA, SK, CAN
71 EVGENI MALKIN “A” 6′ 3″ 195 JUL 31, 1986 27 MAGNITOGORSK, RUS
18 JAMES NEAL 6′ 2″ 208 SEP 3, 1987 26 WHITBY, ON, CAN
16 BRANDON SUTTER 6′ 3″ 190 FEB 14, 1989 24 HUNTINGTON, NY, USA
46 JOE VITALE 5′ 11″ 205 AUG 20, 1985 28 ST. LOUIS, MO, USA
Defensemen
# NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT DATE OF BIRTH AGE BIRTH PLACE
41 ROBERT BORTUZZO 6′ 4″ 215 MAR 18, 1989 24 THUNDER BAY, ON, CAN
5 DERYK ENGELLAND 6′ 2″ 215 APR 3, 1982 31 EDMONTON, AB, CAN
58 KRIS LETANG   ** 6′ 0″ 201 APR 24, 1987 26 MONTREAL, QC, CAN
3 OLLI MAATTA 6′ 2″ 206 AUG 22, 1994 19 JYVÄSKYLÄ, FIN
7 PAUL MARTIN 6′ 1″ 200 MAR 5, 1981 32 MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA
2 MATT NISKANEN 6′ 0″ 209 DEC 6, 1986 26 VIRGINIA, MN, USA
44 BROOKS ORPIK “A” 6′ 2″ 219 SEP 26, 1980 33 SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA
52 HARRISON RUOPP 6′ 3″ 205 MAR 17, 1993 20 ZEHNER, SK, CAN
4 ROB SCUDERI 6′ 1″ 212 DEC 30, 1978 34 SYOSSET, NY, USA
Goalies
# NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT DATE OF BIRTH AGE BIRTH PLACE
29 MARC-ANDRE FLEURY 6′ 2″ 180 NOV 28, 1984 28 SOREL, QC, CAN
92 TOMAS VOKOUN   ** 6′ 1″ 210 JUL 2, 1976 37 KARLOVY VARY, CZE
37 JEFF ZATKOFF 6′ 2″ 179 JUN 9, 1987 26 DETROIT, MI, USA
** = INJURED RESERVE

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